Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

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10. Miscellaneous agricultural workers
> Fatal injuries in 2016: 17.4 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 156 fatal injuries, 12,710 nonfatal injuries
> Most common accident: Struck by object
> Median annual wage: $22,520

Approximately half of all fatal injuries affecting miscellaneous agricultural workers were caused by transportation incidents — many of which involved motorized off road vehicles such as tractors. The occupation also results in a relatively large amount of nonfatal injuries at 1,526 for every 100,000 workers — nearly double the comparable national rate. In addition to being a dangerous job, miscellaneous agricultural workers are the lowest paid of all the jobs on our list. The median annual earnings for someone in this profession is $22,520.

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9. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
> Fatal injuries in 2016: 18.0 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 134 fatal injuries, 6,090 nonfatal injuries
> Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips
> Median annual wage: $62,980

Construction can be a dangerous industry, and job site supervisors appear to be at greater risk of a fatal accident than the typical laborer. There were 18.0 workplace deaths for every 100,000 full-time construction and extraction supervisors in 2016 — compared to 15.1 deaths per 100,000 construction laborers. Construction supervisors often work on roadways, and 12.7% of fatalities in 2016 were the result of being hit by a car.

Nonfatal injuries are also relatively common for construction supervisors. Of the 6,090 nonfatal injuries in the field in 2016, 1 in 5 were the result of being struck by a falling or swinging object, and another fifth were the result of a fall from one story or higher.

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8. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
> Fatal injuries in 2016: 23.1 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 260 fatal injuries
> Most common accident: Falls, slips, and trips
> Median annual wage: $66,360

As with miscellaneous agricultural workers, a large portion of fatal injuries affecting farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers — 44.6% — result from incidents involving motorized vehicles. However, these workers fare better than others with regards to nonfatal injuries. Nearly half of such injuries occur due to falls, slips, and trips and require just two days away from work — the shortest recovery time among all the occupations on this list.

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7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
> Fatal injuries in 2016: 24.7 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 918 fatal injuries, 80,180 nonfatal injuries
> Most common accident: Overexertion and bodily reaction
> Median annual wage: $36,670

Most of the driver/sales workers and truck drivers are delivery drivers who spend much of their time on the road, driving both light and heavy trucks. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that 80% of fatal injuries in this occupation result from motor vehicle accidents. There were 24.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in 2016 in this relatively large field, which employs nearly 3 million drivers — the most workers of all the most dangerous jobs.

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6. Structural iron and steel workers
> Fatal injuries in 2016: 25.1 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 16 fatal injuries, 1,440 nonfatal injuries
> Most common accident: Struck by object
> Median annual wage: $51,800

Structural iron and steel workers often work on buildings and bridges, raising, placing, and uniting “iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks,” according to the BLS. Because much of the work in the industry is done at extreme heights, a fall, slip, or trip can be deadly, and such accidents account for 56.3% of all fatal injuries. The most common cause of nonfatal injuries is workers being struck by objects.

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